- Pets and Animals
Feeding Birds at My Window with the Aspects Window Cafe Hopper
Bird Adventures at My Window
I live in a suburb in the lovely Pacific Northwest. I don't have any trees in my yard but my neighbor has bushes. A couple of months ago, I put in a bird feeder in my backyard. It attracted a lot of birds but wasn't easy to watch. I stumbled upon a window bird feeder and started dreaming of luring birds to my window... I read about someone in a city apartment that had success with it...... So I decided to give it a try.
What a success it is! I put up my new window bird feeder and 5 days later a Red-breasted Nuthatch found it. The bird feeder is really close to my carport, but the birds don't seem to mind. Soon I had several birds coming and now I have many! The word got out that I opened a bird cafe :) I am also getting Black Capped Chickadees and the occasional Dark Eyed Junco.
I considered several different window bird feeders. This had the best reviews. It has 3 suction cups so it's really good at staying adhered to the window. The hopper type mechanism lets seed out as needed. The birds seem to really like it too! They have fun selecting their seed. Sometimes they eat the seed right at the bird feeder. They almost always carry a large seed off with them too! I've read that Chickadees hide seed and have a pretty good memory of what they've hidden. I now dream of birds and bird watching... So much fun! I thought I would have to move to the country, but I didn't have to. So if you would love to see birds up-close, give this a try :) Aspects Window Cafe Hopper
My Cafe is Open from Dawn to Dusk! - The Menu is Bird Seed, fresh daily!
Watching Bird Behavior at the Window Bird Feeder - My Feeder is Popular with these Friendly Nuthatches!
If you watch closely, you might see the birds crack open the seeds. It looks like the Chickadees do this by rubbing it against the plastic ledge. The birds are very good about throwing the empty shells on to the ground.
I love to observe where the birds come and go to. The Chickadees usually come and go from the same direction. The Nuthatches come from one direction and then leave in the other direction, as if they are making a circuit or on a route. I don't have a bush really close to my window, so sometimes they will land on my roof. The Juncos prefer to eat off the ground and they will often dive from the roof down to the concrete under the bird feeder.
Sometimes the birds get territorial and they will chase another bird away, even if there's room on the feeder for both birds. I can't wait until Spring. I want to see their mating rituals and hear their songs!
The Birds Love this Feeder - and it's super easy to refill - so I love it too!
I read lots of reviews before buying this feeder. I concluded that this feeder is the best one for my window because:
1) The birds like it. One reviewer compared 3 window bird feeders, and the birds consistently chose this one.
2) It has 3 suction cups for an extra strong hold, and people say it stays stuck on even when it's stormy.
3) The part that holds the seed is easily removable. It slides out so you can refill it without taking the whole thing down.
4) It's covered, so the seed stays dry most of the time, so there's less waste.
Video of Birds at My Window Feeder
Update: October 2014
I bought this bird feeder in February, so I've had it for about 8 months now. The feeder is still holding up great and the birds are still coming!
It's been fun to watch how bird behavior changes with the seasons. Right now, it's getting colder outside and the birds have been more aggressive, often fighting over the feeder. Above is my first attempt at making a video of them.
House Finches at my Window Bird Feeder
This pair visit every day!
What a delight! These House Finches come to my feeder every day. Actually, I think there's at least 5-10 different individuals that come to my feeder, but I can't always tell them apart. The male house finches have a red head and throat that's sometimes slightly orange. They also have a bit of red on their tail. The female is more drab, with just brown streaks all over.
Sometimes the house finches fly up together and they both eat at my feeder at the same time! They generally spend a lot longer at my feeder than the Chickadees. Their bills are thick and they're able to really chomp on the sunflower seed. They often move their head while they're eating so that the shells fall onto the ground, instead of back into the feeder.
I don't have a really great picture of them yet because they do get scared easily. But if I'm careful, I can creep up to the window and sit on the couch right under the window and they're like a foot from my eyes! I can see every detail, it's really amazing. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to Avian Pox and one of them has a growth on their toe.
I live in Washington State, Puget sound area (just outside of Tacoma, WA). House Finches are year round inhabitants all over the West and East Coasts. Actually, this map shows that their territory includes most of the USA and Mexico. Even if you've never seen them before, you might attract them with a bird feeder... I never knew they existed until they showed up! On the other hand, I have yet to see the Washington State bird, the American Goldfinch... something to look forward to! Every day I do wonder if I will get a new visitor :)
Tips on Getting the Birds to Stay Longer
Little songbirds are fast and if they find the seed they want right away, they'll likely hurry off with it. They love to hide in bushes and trees. They even cache their seed away so they can eat it later. If you are using only one kind of seed, you might try a variety, that way the birds might stay longer as they look through the seed to find what they want. Try a seed mix that has sunflower seeds and peanut pieces plus lots of smaller seeds.. I've had success with Audubon Park seed mixes. You'll then get to see a bird sort through the seed and it'll take more time.
One common complaint is that the birds get scared by movements inside the house and they fly away. My birds seem to be really friendly and don't get scared easily. However, if yours do, you can try this one way mirror:
Tips on Installing the Aspects Window Cafe Hopper
I would recommend cleaning the window first, not only so that the suction cups adhere more firmly, but also so that you have a clean window to watch the birds through!
It comes with directions that are pretty thorough. It's not too hard to assemble. There are two plastic tabs on the seed tray. These face the window to improve stability.
The seed tray can be removed for cleaning and refilling so you don't have to loosen the suction cups every time it empties!
You might want to use a level so that you don't put it up crooked... Mine is crooked. The birds don't seem to mind, although the seed comes out more from one side since I didn't get it straight. I've seen birds try to get seed from one side and when they're not happy with the offerings they fly over to the other side.
Female Red-Winged Blackbird at Aspects Window Feeder
Update: Solving the Blackbird Problem
The Red-Winged Blackbirds have a beautiful song and their flight is amazingly graceful, but they started to become a problem when they would come to my feeder and throw seed out all day long.
I tried to shoe them away from my window, but it did not work. The blackbirds just became more used to seeing me and wouldn't fly away.
What did work is switching from a mix seed blend to only black oil sunflower seed. The birds became disinterested... I know some sites say that they eat sunflower seed, but the blackbirds in my neighborhood certainly don't enjoy it much. They do still come to my suet feeders, though.
Chickadee at the Window Birdfeeder - He found a Black Oil Sunflower Seed!
This guy is clever. He sorts through the seeds and picks out the ones he wants. However, he can only carry one seed at a time. See that little plastic tab in the picture that has some seeds on it? Once, I saw him put a seed there and then come back to get it. I think he was creating a small cache for himself :)
Bird Species that Visit My Window Feeder - Bird sightings in Western Washington State (near Tacoma, WA)
- House Finch - These birds LOVE this feeder. They stay the longest and are very polite. They only drop the shells on the ground. So civilized and beautiful. The males get their red/orange color from dyes in their food and their color can vary a lot.
- Oregon Dark-Eyed Junco - They prefer to eat off the ground, but occasionally come up to the feeder. Juncos on the feeder seem to be really cautious, always moving their head back and forth, looking around, and sometimes knocking seeds onto the ground.
- Red-Winged Blackbird - These birds chase off the finches and throw seed on the ground. The feeder isn't really designed for big birds, but these blackbirds near my house are persistent in trying to eat off of all kinds of feeders.
- House Sparrows - These guys look like they're wearing a black mask around their beak. They act like Juncos.
- Red-breasted Nuthatch - Smaller than a chickadee, with a longer beak. They are quick moving.
- Chestnut-backed Chickadee - Friendly and cute, just like the more well known Black-capped Chickadee.
- Black-capped Chickadee - These are often the first birds to find new feeders. Other birds follow where the Chickadees go! They hide seeds for future enjoyment. They hold the seed against the tree with their feet and use their beak to hammer at it until it opens. Usually, they will just take the seed from the feeder and carry it to a tree or other hiding place, but every once in a while, they will stay and eat at the feeder. They are curious girls and guys (both genders have the same pattern), and they like to look in my window!
More Ways to Watch Birds Up Close
I have a suet feeder, but not one at my window. I might give this a try, as I love watching Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. I've also noticed that many of the songbirds enjoy suet too.
This is made by the same company that makes the bird feeder that I love so much. It gets great reviews and I might just give it a try. There are three feeding ports. I live in Washington State and quite surprisingly we have hummingbirds year long! I can't keep them warm but I can feed them!
I'm thinking of getting these and making my own homemade bird feeders. I've heard that you can roll pine cones in peanut butter and seeds to create a delicious treat! You could also use these to hang bird bells or anything else, although there's the risk of it knocking into the window.
Maybe you've seen the commercials for this one? It sure would be fun to see birds nest and raise their young!
I love birds and would enjoy any bird tales you have to share :)